I’ve carried a camera in the backcountry for years. Until recently, I never had a good solution that provided easy access and still felt secure.
In the past, I’d tried several options. “Bino-buddies” were convenient, but most SLR cameras are too heavy to be comfortable and secure. I usually resorted to a fanny pack style Sun Dog camera case, worn backwards. Getting the camera was fairly easy and quick. The case was padded and had room for some accessories. It was also cumbersome on steep inclines and while climbing over boulders or deadfall. And it was a little bit of a process to get it on and adjusted correctly underneath my backpack’s hipbelt.
Peak Designs Capture Clip
Two years ago I started using the Peak Designs Capture Clip and I haven’t looked back. The clip can be attached to your shoulder strap or hip belt. The plate attaches to your camera and is ARCA compatible. The quick release button allows for easy access and can also be locked into place.
I usually mount the clip on my left shoulder strap, just below the chest strap. On my day packs, I can use the standard clamping bolts. When carrying my backpack, I have to use the longer clamping bolts.
I quickly added a couple of accessories and I am loving my this camera carrying system. Here’s what’s in my setup in addition to the Capture Clip.
Peak Designs Clutch: This camera hand strap is quick connecting and quick adjusting. It’s strong and low profile. The strap is comfortable and has a great feel. It’s on my camera pretty much all of the time.
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Peak Designs Pro Pad: This pad makes it much more comfortable to carry a larger, heavier camera and lens. I use this when I carry my Nikon D810. It does come with the longer clamping bolts.
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Peak Designs Shell: This slip on camera cover is perfect for protecting the camera from rain, snow and dust while carrying it on the Capture Clip. It comes in three sizes to ensure a snug fit on just about any camera and lens combo. You can access the view finder and controls without removing it. I use the shell on my Nikon D5100 and Nikon D810.
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There’s a bit of a learning curve for unshouldering your pack with the camera attached. I’ve found that sliding out my right shoulder and swinging the pack around to the left is the best option for me. It lets me either set down my pack, making sure the camera stays on top, or removing my camera from the clip and handing it to someone else to hold before setting down my pack.
I haven’t tried connecting the Capture Clip to a hip belt, though the D810 is heavy enough that I’ve given it some thought. I worry a little more about the camera being protected in that position while hiking. I feel like it’s less likely to get bumped or scraped against something mounted on my shoulder strap, than at my waist. Maybe I’ll try it soon and let you know how it works out.